Bill Blair finds the land by accident - three wooded acres in a rustic community south of San Francisco. The year is 1954, long before anyone will call this area Silicon Valley. Struck by a vision of the family he has yet to create, Bill buys the property on a whim. In Penny Greenway he finds a suitable wife, a woman whose yearning attitude toward life seems compelling and answerable, and they marry and have four children. Yet Penny is a mercurial housewife at a time when women chafed at the conventions imposed on them.
"Slow poignant storytelling"
The Dive from Clausen's Pier reminds us how fragile our lives are and how quickly they can be divided into before and after. It begins with a disaster that could happen in anybody's life, and leaves us asking what we know about our deepest allegiances.
"Interesting but not fascinating!"
Carrie Bell has lived in Wisconsin all her life. She's had the same best friend, the same good relationship with her mother, the same boyfriend - Mike, now her fiancé - for as long as anyone can remember. It's with real surprise she finds that, at age 23, her life has begun to feel suffocating. She longs for a change, an upheaval, a chance to begin again.
A wife struggles to make sense of her husband’s sudden disappearance. A mother mourns her teenage son through the music collection he left behind. A woman shepherds her estranged parents through her brother’s wedding and reflects on the year her family collapsed. A young man comes to grips with the joy - and vulnerability - of fatherhood. And, in the masterly opening novella, two teenagers from very different families forge a sustaining friendship, only to discover the disruptive and unsettling power of sex.
Liz and Sarabeth were childhood neighbors, brought as close as sisters by the suicide of Sarabeth's mother when the girls were just 16. In the decades that followed - through Liz's marriage and Sarabeth's attempts to make a happy life for herself - their relationship remained a source of continuity and strength. But when Liz's adolescent daughter enters dangerous waters that threaten to engulf the family, the fault lines in the women's friendship are revealed.